Intrepid Travel Reviews

Updated 20 Feb 2021

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4.1
78%
Recommend to a Friend
85%
Approve of CEO
Intrepid Travel CEO James Thornton
James Thornton
45 Ratings
Pros
Cons
  • "Senior management have high expectations but not willing to provide resources to make them achievable(in 6 reviews)

  • "There is zero work/life balance; without being explicitly told as much, you are expected to work extra hours every day(in 4 reviews)

More Pros and Cons
Pros & Cons are excerpts from user reviews. They are not authored by Glassdoor.
  1. "Amazing culture, transparent communication and great leadership"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Consultant in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Intrepid Travel full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Amazing culture, transparent communication and great leadership. Intrepid is a true leader in the sustainable travel space. Purpose is really embedded in all aspects. The Bcorp certification is a true attest of that as its a thorough process that dig into every layer of the business and not just a marketing tool to green wash the brand.

    Cons

    Low salaries, few development opportunities available when not working in the Australian headquarters

  2. "The people make this place what it is!"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Diversity & Inclusion
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales Consultant in London, England
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Intrepid Travel full-time for more than 3 years

    Pros

    Intrepid Travel is a trailblazer in the industry, their intention of purpose beyond profit shines through in all that they’re doing. There is a collection of young, motivated people in the London office which really made this a great environment to work and grow in professionally. There isn’t any big egos on the regional level, everyone is heard and can bring their ideas forward which makes everyone feel a part of the bigger picture and everyone is pulling together on one string to really make travel a force of good in the world. As the only B Corp in the industry (what fairtrade is for coffee) they are leading the charge and have now become a carbon negative business. The London office is in a very stylish converted warehouse with various perks such as Friday drinks and social gatherings that contribute to a familiar atmosphere.

    Cons

    With the headquarters being based in Melbourne there sometimes is a lack of understanding for the amazing potential the EMEA region has.

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    Intrepid Travel Response

    December 16, 2020

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review and share your insights. We're pleased that you enjoyed your time in our London office and that you felt motivated, engaged and included. This is very important to us. As a global company with three regional sales regions, we are aware of the need to maintain a global outlook, while empowering the regional teams in their respective markets. This is something we believe our recently (Q3 2020) updated global management structure, which includes regional MDs and operations GMs will help to achieve.


  3. "Strong sense of purpose"

    4.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
     
    Recommends

    I have been working at Intrepid Travel

    Pros

    The company spends a lot of time/money supporting charity projects around the world. They really care about each employee. There’s no hierarchy of who you can and can’t approach. Even senior management are very happy to get their hands dirty and help out on all levels.

    Cons

    Pay in the UK is significantly lower than other regions.

    Intrepid Travel Response

    December 16, 2020

    Thank you for your feedback - as a certified B Corp we do take a holistic approach and aim to add value for all our stakeholders, including our people and the communities we visit. We're pleased that you connected with our entrepreneurial approach, which can indeed see senior managers getting involved in different tasks, when required. We do try to pay a competitive salary, along with other benefits, in each of our respective countries and markets, and acknowledge this can vary.

  4. COVID-19
    Helpful (6)

    "A disapointment"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Sales Advisor 
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I have been working at Intrepid Travel full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Young team so you can make friends easily

    Cons

    They pay badly which you accept when you join, but you don't sign up for horrendous targets. Despite being an apparently very successful and profitable company, with coronavirus they are making us take a 20% pay cut and trying to make us take unpaid leave - trying to guilt trip us by saying SR Managers have taken a cut. SR Managers who can afford a pay cut and unpaid leave are not in the same boat as us. Sorry but other travel companies are not docking pay for staff!

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    Intrepid Travel Response

    December 2, 2020

    Thanks for sharing your feedback - at the time of your review in early March 2020, the travel industry was feeling the immediate and devastating impacts of Covid-19. At that time, we did not know how the pandemic would play out but it was already clear that it was a crisis and we needed to take a number of steps to protect the business and as many roles as possible for the future. As a certified B Corp, we tried to balance all our stakeholders in our response. At that time, we did ask all our people to voluntarily consider reducing their normal work hours by one day per week and to consider using their leave, if they were in a position to do so. In addition, our co-founders agreed to not take a salary for at least 6 months. Of course, things changed quickly and since then the entire travel industry has changed immeasurably during 2020.

  5. Helpful (4)

    "Great colleagues, terrible management, poor business ethics"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Neutral Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Intrepid Travel full-time for less than a year

    Pros

    Incredibly supportive immediate colleagues. Fun location in London. Great, yet unachieved business potential.

    Cons

    Although it seems a great company on the surface, Intrepid Travel has huge flaws in it's working culture, junior and senior management and global business ethics. Working culture is a challenge. Long hours are expected with no recognition, micromanagement is constant, there are rumours and childish cliques spread across the office. The recently introduced 'flexi-time' is a pathetic 30 minute period either side of the official working hours, which is pointless as overtime is expected and almost unavoidable with overbearing workloads. Junior and senior management is a shambles. Unprofessionalism is a daily routine with micromanagement, favouritism, sexism, rumours, inappropriate relationships and out-of-hours culture that would be controversial to disclose. Any respect and recognition of junior staff is few and far between - hard work is not valued. Communication is a huge issue causing tensions between staff and across departments. Company values are purely PR motivated and rarely trickle down to business practices, such values are only upheld by the dedication of employees to the causes. Ultimately, Intrepid is purely money motivated. Arrogance and image is rewarded over work ethic and productivity - don't expect training investment or professional advancement unless you're male. HR is a pointless exercise. Salaries are considerably lower than industry average and significantly lower in the EMEA region compared with APAC and NA, although staff are performing the same jobs in the same company. Benefits are limited - one free trip a year sounds better than it is as salaries hardly allow to save for flights or expenses in destination. Overall, Intrepid Travel is a company with great potential which is unfortunately unachieved.

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    Intrepid Travel Response

    December 6, 2020

    Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback from your time working at Intrepid’s office in London. Since your review in January 2020, there have been two major changes that address a number of the points you raised: 1. There have been changes at the corporate level, including a restructure of our global leadership team. 2. One of our most senior managers, Zina Bencheikh, was appointed EMEA Managing Director in February 2020. Zina is a highly qualified finance professional with deep experience in operations and management. She is also widely admired and awarded for her work on gender equality and diversity, including in her home country of Morocco. She was an important part of Intrepid doubling its number of female tour leaders in 2019 and continues to advocate on gender equality, diversity and inclusion, and to foster an inclusive team and culture. We believe that these changes have gone a long way in addressing some of the points that you raise. In addition, all permanent staff have access to learning and development opportunities, including via our online Degreed learning platform. As a certified B Corp, we balance purpose and profit - when the business does well financially, we're able to invest further in purpose activities. In 2020 we've continued to advocate on a number of issues, including climate change and animal welfare. We believe it is important that our people are recognised for the work they are doing and the level of responsibilities that their role entails. We do try to pay a competitive salary for the travel industry, but acknowledge that it can be lower than some other sectors. We hope this helps to provide more context.

  6. Helpful (7)

    "Avoid - Boys Bullying Corp"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Intrepid Travel full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    -The product is interesting to market, as the trips are well thought out and enjoyable. Good range of product which keeps things interesting. The guides are mostly great. -Sometimes there is additional opportunity to travel. - The office is a fairly cool warehouse conversion in Brixton. -Freedom to work from home if you are lucky (differs dependant on manager). -Perhaps good to use as a stepping stone in your career for a year (max) to get to another position, easy to get hired here as they struggle to recruit with the salaries. -One free trip a year (within trip list, flights not included). - Some lovely people work there, but you can't hang your hat on that. Unfortunately the cons far out weigh the pros. I would not recommend working here unless it is for a year max as a stepping stone or for visa requirement short-term, perhaps for an aussie or similar coming to London.

    Cons

    -Sadly the other negative reviews on Glassdoor are accurate, which is why there are so many. -Sexism is prevalent. Men in the organisation seem to have no respect for women, speaking over them and being incredibly rude and unprofessional. There has been cases of promoting very junior men over more qualified women, causing people to quit. Senior males having inappropriate relationships and abusing their positions of power, and behaving inappropriately at work events. -Favouritism is mind boggling. The people who survive are the people who slap on a smile and nod. -There is no opportunity to improve things, as the bullying and bad culture runs so deep. -There is no support, those who try to improve things, are ignored or managed out. -The bad mouthing, nastiness, and cliques make you feel as though you are in a high school drama on steroids. -I learned so much about politics working here i'm surprised I didn't win the general election. -HR is used as a tool by Sr Management, and is not working as a neutral body for the people who work there. There is no one qualified working in Europe to look after employees. -The company values are for marketing purposes only. There is no integrity. There is zero fun. Unless you count the ping pong table. That makes up for it, right? -If you are best mates with the CEO and/or other SR Management, then you can have no clue what you are doing and that is apparently cool with this business. -The salaries are appallingly low for the roles, workload, and location. I am embarrassed that I accepted this for as long as I did. -The workloads are insane. You will be hired for a role, that quickly merges to four roles. No point raising workloads as an issue - this is ignored or seen as not being passionate. You are expected to work all hours on a terrible salary, for terribly people. Again, i'm cringing. -Decisions are never made. Waiting for sign off on a project? You will be waiting for months whilst SR Management duck making a decision. In a bind so go ahead and make the decision on your own? You may or may not be yelled at. -You will feel guilty for taking a lunch break. -The software and systems are ancient and require investment. -The communication is horrendous between regions, and from SR Management. Huge changes are communicated on email when they are sitting five feet away from you. -The London office is largely ignored as Australia is so self involved. -There is never explanation or conversation with decisions. -Restructuring, recruitment freezing, and redundancy happen regularly. You feel as though you are always waiting for the hammer to fall. -You will see good people join, full of drive and life. In six months they will be drained. struggling mentally, or have left. -Some managers are so unbelievably and obviously awful, and the business takes years to address it. How many complaints and leavers does it take? -The company is purely target and revenue driven, B Corp is nonsense and for PR. They promote looking after everyone in their supply chain, yet they treat their employees like absolute dirt. - Despite being 30 years old, Intrepid operates as a start up whilst also thinking its a professional corporate company. Which is it? -They may have a revenue driven growth strategy, but there is no direction or investment in people and the turnover is huge.

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    Intrepid Travel Response

    December 8, 2020

    Thank you for taking the time to leave a review - we value your feedback and hope to provide you with an update on some of the concerns you raise. Since your review in January 2020, there have been two major structural changes to the company, including one of our most experienced senior leaders, Zina Bencheikh being appointed EMEA Managing Director to lead the EMEA (including the UK) team in February 2020. Zina is a highly qualified finance and business professional who has also been recognised for her leadership on gender equality. In addition to leading our London office, she continues to speak out widely on gender equality, diversity and inclusion at international events and conferences. There have been a number of changes at the corporate level, including a restructure of our global leadership team. We continue to maintain equal gender representation at the Board and senior management level. We believe these structural changes introduced in 2020 address many of the points you raise, but we would like to respond to three more of your comments: Every team member and leader must complete mandatory anti-bullying, anti-racism and anti-harassment training. This aims to ensure all our people understand our policies and processes, who to talk to if they experience or see bullying or harassment, and how to seek support. Our people’s wellbeing is our number one priority. Every employee has access to our global Employee Assistance Program (EAP) and can access four free counselling sessions per year, in addition to a suite of online and on-demand resources. During 2020, to support our people during the pandemic, we’ve introduced a dedicated wellbeing hub on our internal messaging board and we're conducting a survey of all our global people to better understand how they’re feeling and where we can improve in 2021. Many of our staff in numerous different functions have been with Intrepid for 10, 15 and 20 years. Intrepid is a business where people can pursue different career paths, which is demonstrated by some of our most senior leaders, who have moved through many different roles. We believe this is a great benefit to our people and our business. We hope this helps clarify and provide more context around some of the concerns you’ve raised.

  7. Helpful (8)

    "The ONLY good thing here is their product"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Sales in Brixton, London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Intrepid Travel full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    Incredible product, with really good EXTERNALLY VIEWED company values. The concept of sustainable travel was spearheaded by this company and they really do everything they can to promote this value throughout their experiences

    Cons

    How this company has managed to survive this long is purely down to their superior product offering, because it most definitely isn't down to the internal organisation! Firstly there is a company culture of being expected to work 10+ hour days regularly (12+ hours during January). If you were to leave on time or even 30 minutes late you would considered to be a pariah and ostracized accordingly. It's expected for you to live, breathe, sleep eat the company and anything else just isn't good enough, however even if you were to come in on time (and not early) again you would be considered to not have the values required. The company prides itself on it's value led organisation' and caring for it's 'team (not employees)' however I strongly believe this is purely for self promotion because I saw not one shred of this whilst in employ there. They will tell you that they pay over the industry average for all positions (I think they actually went as far as to say they are within the 80th percentile for this) - THIS IS WHOLEHEARTEDLY FALSE! They pay below average for most positions (especially senior roles) and given the additional workload that is expected of everyone this figure is even lower in real terms. The biggest issue with the company is the fact that it is without doubt the most cliquey, insular company I have ever worked in. The Senior management (Director level) have been handed their positions purely because they were friends with others in the company at a higher level, not based on merit or achievement. The incredibly poor management of the senior managers below director level was 100% down to the lack of experience in their roles. The irony of the fact that you are micromanaged (incredibly poorly at that!) whilst having no guidance & development is laughable. No form of personal development or mentoring is given to anyone outside of the clique and it almost feels as though they are actively trying to ensure you don't succeed in the role/ company. The culture is that of "if you're not in the clique, you're not welcome" and are made to feel alienated at every opportunity. The closest analogy I could make to describe the way the business operates is that of "Mean Girls" blended with "Mad Men" - narcissistic delusions of self grandeur and promotion, whilst actively trying to insulate themselves from anyone outside of their circle. BE WARNED - one of their most commonly used business strategies is "re-structuring" the business to force redundancies. This has happened at every level for years, and nothing has been done about it at Global Leadership level; in fact has actually been encouraged and dressed up as a good thing to promote growth! The reason for doing this has mainly been to keep the 'clique' in the company and weed out anyone else.

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  8. Helpful (7)

    "Great product, awful marketing management"

    2.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing in Brixton, London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No Opinion of CEO

    I worked at Intrepid Travel full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The product and values of the company are amazing. They do so much to give back to local communities they travel too and there is no glitz or glam at all about the trips. It’s all real and authentic. Lots of genuinely nice people work there too.

    Cons

    New senior management, in marketing specifically, is awful. Normal level managers are great and have a lot of extra pressure on them all of a sudden such as unfair delegation and extra pointless work. There is a serious lack of experience at director level and they are extremely rude via email and the way they speak to you, they sometimes look at you like you’re stupid. They also get funny if people are off sick/need to take time out of work for medical reasons. Being asked to prove why you’re at the doctors is beyond a joke.

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  9. Helpful (10)

    "Fantastic product, inexperienced management with tendency to micromanage and lower than average salary"

    1.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Marketing Executive in London, England
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Intrepid Travel full-time for more than a year

    Pros

    The product - small, sustainable group travel - is absolutely amazing. The vision of the two founders to change the world by connecting travellers with the country and people they visit is wonderful and easy to really believe in which makes it even easier to market and sell the product. Especially when you start out, there's a feeling of making a real difference to the world (and the world of travel). It would be such a fantastic company to work for if it wasn't for the management in the UK office. * The product - what's there not to love about truly sustainable travel? * The vision of the two founders is beautiful and they are genuinely amazing people (come into the office from time to time and are just so friendly) * You get a free trip every year, easily one of the best things about working in travel. * The intrepid foundation that supports initiatives all over the world (even though I believe pushing your own employees to donate when they already earn little to none is a bit controversial) * The idea of working for a BCorp. I'm saying idea here on purpose, as it doesn't quite do what it says on the tin.

    Cons

    * The management in the UK office. It very much is a boys club at the top. This not only affects promotion of men only, it also means that it's not the best (men) being promoted but the ones that are friends of the boys at the top. * Some more words on the management in the UK (can't really speak for the other offices). Managers, as per the above it's men in all senior positions, are inexperienced and love micromanagement. I believe this is strongly related to their inexperience and insecurity but quickly leads to team members feeling unmotivated as their every step is being watched. * Overtime is expected of you. If you leave 5:30pm sharp, management doesn't think you're committed. * Clock watching is a thing. Even though you work at least 45 minutes longer every day and are expected to get up early or stay up late for international calls, if you dare to come 5 minute late, you'll be pulled aside for "a quick chat". So much to flexible work hours... * Opportunities in the UK office are limited and there is hardly any movement across geos (unless you're a senior manager). * The salary is low. Even for the travel industry, and don't let anyone tell you otherwise. Senior management is quick to point out that your perks are amazing (and don't get me wrong, a free trip is great but doesn't help you when you can't afford the flights to get there, while the rest of the perks are pretty much below average) and the grass isn't greener on the other side. But it is. The main competitor pays a whole lot more and seems to have a better culture on top of that.

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  10. "Great people to work with"

    5.0
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Compensation and Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee 

    I have been working at Intrepid Travel full-time

    Pros

    As a global company there are plenty of opportunities to learn and work with people from all areas of the business The people are hardworking and they are incredibly passionate about what they do Lots of opportunity to learn more about how the business works, shadowing and working with other Opportunities to travel A fun atmosphere with lots going on inside and out of the office Responsible office – paperless invoicing, reduction of plastic waste Modern working space Great location

    Cons

    Working in travel the salary is lower than other industries January is a busy time of year so holiday is unlikely to be signed off during this time

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